English gambler Nick Newlife didn't live to see whether or not his audacious 2003 wager on Roger Federer paid off. But that bet has given one charity more than 100,000 reasons to root for the Swiss as he guns for his seventh Wimbledon title.
The London Evening Standard reported Monday that nine years ago, Newlife wagered £1,520 at 66-to-1 odds that Federer would finish his career with at least seven Wimbledon singles championships--a bet that would pay off at £101,840, or nearly $160,000, if Federer reached the mark before the year 2019. Newlife had to feel good about the wager, too, after Federer won his fifth Wimbledon crown in 2007.
Unfortunately, Newlife died in early 2009, just a few months before Federer claimed title No. 6. But his bet lives on, thanks to his having willed it on to charity Oxfam International, based out of Newlife's hometown of Oxford.
"Legacies amount to 10 percent of our total income from individuals, so they're essential to us," Oxfam spokesperson Stuart Fowkes told the Standard, "and as this case proves they can come in all shapes and sizes."
Of course, the odds remain stacked against Oxfam and Federer; at the age of 30, the Swiss legend is already on the downside of his career when measured against archrivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who are listed by the same William Hill bookmaker who took Newlife's original wager as substantially heavier favorites.
But when the tournament kicks off this Monday, it's a safe bet -- pun intended -- that he'll have plenty of support all the same in Oxford.
HT: Beyond the Bets.